Christian Thought From the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Century/Revivalism in the Americas

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"The Great Awakening is another name for the remarkable revival of religious enthusiasm that occurred in the eighteenth century. This widespread revival affected not only England, but Wales, Scotland and the new colonies in America. It has probably been the most significant religious movement in the western world since the reformation and has had lasting effects on our modern church life". (Dale Appleby)

We begin our study of Christian thought in Modern Times with the Americas of the eighteenth century. In further units of module 1 we will research Christian writers in Western Europe. Finally we will investigate Christian thinkers in Czarist Russia. This panorama will help us to get a glimpse of the main streams of Christianity in the world three hundred years ago. (If you have access to a library with printed books, you might be interested to look for: James C Livingston: Modern Christian Thought: The Enlightenment And the Nineteenth Century. 2006, 2nd edition, Alban Books, ISBN: 080063795.)

North, Central, and South America did not play such an influential role in world politics as they do today. In fact, the United States were still in the making. Main impulses in Christianity were deeply rooted in Europe, not overseas. But it is important for us to study thought and philosophy of Christians in America because their influence in the world continuously grew. With the slow disintegration and final collapse of the Commonwealth of the British Empire the US claimed world dominance. The genesis of a super power needs to be researched to understand its character and principles. Until the Sixties Christian principles and values effectively shaped American culture and politics.

  • Who were the fathers of the later so-called super-power?
  • Who were the fathers of the Evangelical main stream that formed a big part of the American Dream?
  • What were the driving forces for developments that shaped the nineteenth century?

To get the bigger picture we want to study several short overviews and then some representatives of North America of the eighteenth century. Please go to each of the below web sites and study each of these essays extensively. Make notes while you read. You will need your notes later to write an essay.

Write an essay about the following topic:

"Which specifics were inherent of the Great Awakening and which consequences
did it have for the nineteenth and twentieth century in the United States?"

The essay should have at least 2000 words. Form and design of the essay should look like this. Click here to submit your essay.

Jonathan Edwards George Whitefield Thomas Paine

From left to right: Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, Thomas Paine.

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Units: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5